From education to employment

Vitalijs secures WorldSkills UK bronze medal

Vitalijs Mihnevics, Foundation Degree in Computer Science student from Burton and South Derbyshire College, recently secured a bronze medal in the national final of the WorldSkills Network Infrastructure Technician competition.

The WorldSkills UK competition-based development programmes are designed by industry experts, and enhance the practical skills and knowledge taught on training courses by assessing an individual’s employability attributes against set criteria in a competitive timed environment.

Over 6,000 people registered to take part in the UK-wide competitions in March, and the finalists were competing for gold, silver and bronze medals which were awarded in a ceremony at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester on Friday 17 November.

The Network Infrastructure Technician competition focused on all the essential requirements for a successful career as a Network Technician. It consisted of a series of tasks, including the installation, configuration, maintenance and troubleshooting of ICT networks using predominantly CISCO devices.

Vitalijs is following his lifelong passion for computing by undertaking a Foundation Degree in Computer Science which he is studying part time alongside his full time job as a CNC Operator. He said:

“It can be difficult working and studying at the same time, but I enjoy the challenge of learning new things. Taking part in the competition was a good experience and I would definitely be interested in going back to compete again next year. I would encourage anybody to get back into education; you gain knowledge, a qualification and potentially a new career path. I believe you have nothing to lose – you will never succeed if you don’t try it.”

Jacqui Maw, Curriculum Team Leader of Computing and Emerging Technologies said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Vitalijs has secured a medal in the national final of the competition. WorldSkills rewards excellence in technical skills and this experience is great for our students’ personal development and future employment opportunities.”

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